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« May 24, 2009 - May 30, 2009 | Main | June 7, 2009 - June 13, 2009 »

June 05, 2009

Fed: Consumer Credit Outstanding Shrinks 7.5% in April

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Photo: Cliff1066
The Federal Reserve released its monthly G.19 Consumer Credit report today showing that consumer credit in the US decreased at an annual rate of 7-1/2 percent in April 2009. Revolving credit decreased at an annual rate of 11 percent, and nonrevolving credit decreased at an annual rate of 5-1/4 percent.

Payment Card Industry Responds to HR 2695 re Interchange Fees

As noted earlier, yesterday Congressmen John Conyers, Jr. and Bill Schuster re-introduced the Credit Card Fair Fee Act. The card industry has responded to this new legislative initiative directed at interchange fees.

MasterCard said in a press release that the legislation would take away the fundamental protections that US anti-trust laws provide consumers which "would result in less credit availability, along with higher prices and reduced benefits when Americans choose to use their credit or debit cards. Antitrust laws are designed to protect competition and consumers, but this bill would have the opposite effect."

In another press release, the Electronic Payments Coalition said that it "strongly opposes" the legislation - calling it "an attempt by giant retailers to make consumers pay for one of their business expenses - the cost of accepting credit and debit. It's simple: merchants do not want to pay their fair share to accept debit and credit cards, and they want consumers to foot the bill."

Credit Card Fair Fee Act HR 2695 Reintroduced in US House

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Photo: euthman
Yesterday, Congressman Bill Shuster (R-PA) joined House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers, Jr. (D-Mich.) in introducing HR 2695, the “Credit Card Fair Fee Act of 2009.” According to them, "this legislation would allow merchants to collectively negotiate with banks for the cost of certain credit card fees, and ultimately reduce the costs of everyday goods for consumers." READ MORE »

Fresh Air: Complete Disclosure On Credit Card Reform

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On yesterday's NPR program "Fresh Air", Georgetown law professor Adam Levitin spoke on the subject of credit card reform.

June 04, 2009

Chase Launches New Ultimate Rewards Program

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Chase Card Services has announced the launch of a new rewards program called Ultimate Rewards that is available on Chase Freedom and the new Chase Sapphire credit cards. According to Chase, "Ultimate Rewards enriches the rewards experience with millions of redemption options that customers can use today. Cardmembers can view rewards activity, earn bonus points for shopping, redeem points, book entire travel itineraries, and search for and reserve a restaurant through a single, comprehensive Web site that provides maximum simplicity and ease of navigation." READ MORE »

Pulse Releases 2009 Debit Card Issuer Study

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Pulse has announced findings from its 2009 Debit Issuer Study including several positive trends for financial institution debit card issuers such as sustained debit transaction growth despite the recession. This study also found that, while the use of PIN debit has increased, fraud loss rates have declined. READ MORE »

Fiserv White Paper on Profitability of Mobile Financial Services

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Fiserv has published a new white paper titled "How to Achieve a Compelling ROI from Mobile Financial Services" that explores "how a strategic approach to mobile banking and payments can provide financial institutions with a tangible return on investment." READ MORE »

Green Dot Changes Prepaid Pricing to Incent Ongoing Usage

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In an article in today's American Banker titled "Green Dot Fee Plan Could Signal Prepaid Evolution", Maria Aspan reports on pricing changes that Green Dot is about to make that "could accelerate the maturation of the young prepaid industry." In particular, Aspan reports that later this summer "Green Dot will reduce its up-front fees for all consumers, and it will start waiving its monthly maintenance fees for consumers who use their cards regularly."

Headline News - June 4, 2009

Note: Throughout the day, as Payments News happens, this post is updated. For job opportunities available for payments professionals, visit PaymentsJobs.com. Employers looking to hire payments professionals can post their job openings there as well.
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June 03, 2009

The Way We Pay 2009 - UK Cash & Cash Machines

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Photo: AustinEvan
The Payments Council in the UK has announced the publication of The Way We Pay 2009: UK Cash & Cash Machines, providing the latest data on how UK consumers are obtaining and using cash and how this is forecast to change 2008 cash and cash machine data shows:

71% of all cash acquired by consumers came from cash machines

2.9 billion cash machine withdrawals were made last year - equivalent to 91 withdrawals per second

Cash payment volumes are forecast to fall by 27% over the next 10 years

If current trends persist, next year for the first time debit card spending will overtake cash spending by value in the UK. READ MORE »

Intuit to Acquire PayCycle

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Intuit has announced signing a definitive agreement to purchase PayCycle Inc., one of the nation’s fastest-growing online payroll services, serving more than 85,000 small businesses. According to Intuit, "the cash transaction is valued at approximately $170 million, subject to adjustment. Privately held PayCycle, based in Palo Alto, Calif., is a leader in online payroll for small businesses, accountants and financial institutions." READ MORE »

June 02, 2009

U.S. Bank Introduces New Payment Solution for Physician Offices

U.S. Bank has launched Healthcare Payment Management (HPM) Essentials, a physician-focused payment tool that enables doctors’ offices to collect more patient self-pay balances – such as co-pays and deductibles – at the time and point of care. READ MORE »

Coinstar Adds Prepaid Online Gaming Cards

Coinstar E-Payment Services has announced that it will launch a line of digital entertainment products in U.S. retail locations. According to the company, it has "partnered with leading online game companies including Aeria Games, Rixty Inc., Spare Change and Wild Tangent, to offer more than 15 products that provide consumers flexible online spending options. The new prepaid offerings are expected to be available at more than 500 Cumberland Farms retail locations this summer, and Coinstar plans to roll out the program to additional retailers later this year." READ MORE »

Elavon Expands Multi-Currency Acceptance Capabilities

Elavon has announced enhancements to its international processing platform that expands multi-currency, cross-border and Dynamic Currency Conversion (DCC) capabilities for merchants. Elavon’s network now has the ability to authorize in 89 currencies, settle in 16, and convert up to 48 currencies for DCC. In addition, Elavon has launched DCC in Germany, where the processor can currently convert 27 currencies, giving its merchants the ability to generate a new revenue stream by sharing in the conversion fees. READ MORE »

Capital One Introduces Card Lab Connect for Nonprofits

Capital One has launched Card Lab Connect, a credit card affinity program that Capital One says helps nonprofits expand their giving channels while providing their supporters with a convenient and meaningful way to donate to charity programs. Unlike most affinity card programs which generally cater to larger, national organizations, Capital One Card Lab Connect is available for nonprofits of all sizes. READ MORE »

June 01, 2009

A Visual History of the Credit Card

Slate's Big Money features a visual history of the credit card - starting all the way back with the Diners Club Card in 1951. [Hat tip: American Banker's BankThink blog].

Key Takeaways from Glenbrook's B2B Payments Workshop

Last week in New York City, Glenbrook's Erin McCune and Carol Coye Benson hosted an "Opportunities in B2B Payments" workshop - attended by product strategists from card networks, NACHA, The Clearing House, major banks, processors, software and service providers and payments start-up companies. In a post over on PaymentsViews.com, Carol takes a look at the key takeaways from last week's workshop.

If you're interested in learning more about Glenbrook’s Payments Education program, visit here. In addition to our popular public Payments Boot Camps, we offer private workshops on site at your location based on special topics (such as last week's “Opportunties in B2B Payments”) or drawn from our core Payments Bootcamp curriculum, or customized in a combination you can tailor to meet your needs.

How Much Do Prepaid Cardholders Spend Monthly on Fees?

The Center for Financial Services Innovation (CFSI) has released its latest research, “One Size Does Not Fit All: A Comparison of Monthly Financial Services Spending,” at the 4th Annual Underbanked Financial Services Forum in Dallas. The paper is an investigation into how much prepaid cardholders spend each month to conduct essential financial transactions, compared to what they would spend if they used only a checking account or check cashing services. READ MORE »

Fiserv Introduces Mobile Money FastTrack for Mobile Banking

Fiserv, has introduced Mobile Money FastTrack - calling it "a straightforward mobile banking solution that can be rapidly deployed by financial institutions." Mobile Money FastTrack is a streamlined version of the flagship Mobile Money solution introduced by Fiserv in 2008. READ MORE »

May 31, 2009

Small Business Credit Cards Unaffected by New CARD Act

BusinessWeek notes this week in an article titled "No Relief for Small Business Cardholders" that the "Credit Card Accountability Responsibility & Disclosure Act doesn't apply to small business cards." This issue also includes a comparison of various small business credit cards currently available.

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